Preparing for a Site Visit as an Employer

Critical step in attracting a new hire

  • Must be approached in a professional, business-like manner
  • Sets the stage for everything that comes afterword.

Preparations prior to visit

  • Visit should follow one or more telephone conversations with the job seeker and other key contacts.
    • Discussions should take place between the job seeker/candidate and the Hospital CEO, practice owner or manager, Hospital recruiter, Medical Director, and staff physicians depending on the nature of the position
  • There should be no questions regarding who will be paying expenses associated with the visit and how any reimbursement will be handled. This involves dollars and any misunderstanding or assumption could create hard feelings afterward.

Keep in Mind

  • While you are evaluating a potential employee, you and your organization are being evaluated.
    • Drinking to excess, arguments among staff members or physicians and displays of temper will send up red flags for the interviewee.
    • If you haven’t recruited in a while, dry run your procedures and agenda. Get an outside party to do a walk through to judge the appearance of your facilities.
    • Will what you are telling the interviewee about your organization and the position match what he or she hears from staff members and other physicians?

A few basic rules

  • Make sure everyone involved has contact numbers, flight numbers and times, rental car reservation number, hotel reservation number and a copy of the itinerary
    • A written itinerary/agenda is a must. This is the script that guides the visit
    • Avoid looking disorganized. This is your chance to show off the professionalism of your staff
  • Choose the people involved in the visit carefully and ensure that each one is truly “invested” in the recruiting effort. Apathy on the part of a key player can undermine your efforts.
    • This includes people outside your organization such as a real estate agent conducting a tour of the community. Don’t turn your candidate over to someone with a negative attitude whose only goal is to unload a crummy piece of property.
  • Ensure your agenda has some flexibility in case meetings or meals run a little long. The candidate shouldn’t feel as if they are being rushed through some pro forma process
  • Personally check the hotel used by the candidate prior to the visit. Don’t rely on hearsay about a lodging or dining facilities you intend to use. Perform your due diligence
  • Check for any dietary restrictions your candidate may have and plan accordingly
  • If the candidate is bringing a spouse, ensure that person is involved in the process by arranging activities and visits with members of the community, school officials and church members as appropriate

Suggestions for an Agenda

  • Meet and greet. Make sure the interviewee is met personally, either at their hotel or at the front door of your facility and escorted to the first meeting. Don’t tell the interviewee to show up at the reception desk and have them page someone.
  • Office visit. A good first step is to spend a hour or two in an office setting to have a question and answer session that builds on the preceding telephone conversations.
  • Facility tour. Insure the interviewee has an opportunity to spend plenty time in your primary facility as well as other places he or she may be working (office spaces, outpatient clinics, surgical centers, additional hospitals in the network, etc.)
  • Staff luncheon. An informal lunch with members of the staff, not necessarily physicians, is an opportunity for the interviewee to interact with other personnel from your organization. This may include your CFO, Recruiter, Medical Director, Nurse Director and Practice manager among others.
  • Dinner with physicians. A relaxed dinner is an ideal venue for a discussion of the local medical market, growth potential, medical staff interaction as well as an exploration of shared values, hobbies and interests. Make sure that those in attendance fully support the recruitment effort
  • Community tour. Set aside at least a half day for a tour of the community. Special emphasis should be placed on housing, shopping and dining opportunities, as well as schools and churches/mosques/temples as appropriate. You can include special trips to nearby lakes, seashores, mountains or other recreational areas.

Wrapping up the visit

  • Set aside an hour or two for a final office visit. This is time to discuss compensation in more detail and, in broad strokes, to show the interviewee the financial potential of your opportunity.
  • This is also your best chance to gauge, not only the interviewee’s interest level, but also their suitability for the position.
    • You’ve had a day or two to observe this person’s temperament, interaction with physicians and staff, ability to communicate and establish rapport and hopefully gain an understanding of their true motivations.
  • Make the candidate an offer if you want them to join you organization
  • Go over what comes next, who will follow up and when. The candidate should not leave without a clear understanding of where things stand.
  • Ask for feedback. This is especially important if the candidate does not express interest in the position. You need honest feedback to determine where you are falling short